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Monken to interview for Army head coaching job
GSU athletic director confirms request by Military Academy
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Georgia Southern Head Football Coach Jeff Monken talks to the team during Military Appreciation Week on the practice field at GSU in October. GSU Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein confirmed Wednesday that Monken will be allowed to interview with Army for the head coaching job. - photo by EDDIE LEDBETTER/staff

            The U.S. Military Academy has expressed interest in Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Monken.

            Army fired coach Rich Ellerson on Sunday after five years heading the Black Knights. Ellerson went 20-41 at Army, and was 0-5 against the program’s biggest rival, the Naval Academy.

            Like the other military academies, Army ran a variation of the spread-option offense under Ellerson.

            That version of the option offense was pioneered by current Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson at Georgia Southern. Monken coached under Johnson at GSU, Navy and Georgia Tech before becoming the head coach of the Eagles in 2010.

            “I was contacted by the Military Academy and they asked about an opportunity to express an interest (in Monken),” Georgia Southern athletics director Tom Kleinlein said on Wednesday. “I granted the permission for them to go ahead and talk to him.”

            Monken is 38-16 at GSU, and led the Eagles to the semifinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

            In 2013, the program, which was ineligible for the playoffs due to a transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision Sun Belt Conference, went 7-4 and capped off the season with a 26-20 win over the Florida Gators in Gainesville, Fla.

            It was Georgia Southern’s first win over an FBS program.

            Kleinlein said Monken expressed interest in meeting with Army representatives.

            “At this point,” Kleinlein said, “that’s all I know.”

            Monken could not be reached by phone on Wednesday.

 

            Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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